Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A huge statue.
  • n. Something likened to a huge statue, as in size or importance: a colossus of bureaucracy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A statue of gigantic size. The name was especially applied to certain famous statues in antiquity, as the Colossus of Nero in Rome and the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • n. Any creature or thing of gigantic size.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A statue of gigantic size. The name was especially applied to certain famous statues in antiquity, as the Colossus of Nero in Rome, the Colossus of Apollo at Rhodes.
  • n. Any man or beast of gigantic size.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A statue of gigantic size; specifically (usually with a capital), the bronze statue of Apollo at Rhodes, which is said to have been 70 cubits high, and was reckoned among the seven wonders of the world.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone or something that is abnormally large and powerful
  • n. a person of exceptional importance and reputation

Etymologies

Latin, from Greek kolossos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin colossus, from Ancient Greek κολοσσός (kolossos, "large statue, especially the colossus of Rhodes"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Vizzini: You were supposed to be this colossus. You were this great, legendary thing. And yet he gains.

    February 7, 2007